Standing in an arena surrounded by a jury of five hundred of his Athenians peers, Socrates defends his beliefs and his right to voice them. Even though faced with the death penalty, Socrates still does not find any reason to accept being banished or change his ways for his accusers. Socrates argues as he always does, in his somewhat pompous tone of voice, which does not help him in swaying the minds of the jurors. There is a fixed notion of Socrates, and his approach to this trial does not help to change it. If Socrates might have been more humble throughout his argument and appealed more to the emotional side of the jury he might have succeeded.
Like Socrates, Terry must also reason with those who judge him (Edie Doyle, the gang, the police), and most importantly with himself. Unlike Terry, Socrates would not have shown or used his emotions to fight back. Instead he most likely would have used his words, asking questions and using logic.
During the conclusion of On The Waterfront Terry becomes extremely emotional and attacks Johnny Friendly, who had been taunting Terry to do so. Terry therefore gives Johnny Friendly exactly what he wanted, and from the beatings by Johnny Friendly’s goons, Terry almost faces death like Socrates too. During his trial, Socrates does the opposite by defending himself, yet not giving the jury what they wanted, which was for him to beg for forgiveness and recant his “teachings.” Socrates keeps his cocky tone of voice, and makes his accusers look foolish. He also, laughs (not literally) at the thought of dying.
Although being sentenced to death was a failure in winning the trial, I believe Socrates is not a failure. He was a man of seventy year old, on the brink of death. He died for a cause and what he believed – and allowed his method to become even more public.